What is Foreskin (prepuce)?

The foreskin is the loose skin covering the glans (or “head”) of the penis. At the tip of the glans, there is an urethral opening for urination and ejaculation of semen. The length of the foreskin varies in different people but it should be loose enough to be retracted (pulled back) easily to expose the glans. Normally, the foreskin becomes retractable at around 5 years old.

Foreskin Hygiene

The foreskin, like the skin of other parts of our body, contains secretory glands. If the secretions are not washed away thoroughly, it may cause infection and inflammation.

When you bath, gently pull back the foreskin with your hands to expose the glans and wash it with mild soap and water. After drying with a clean towel, pull forward the foreskin to cover the glans as usual.

What are Foreskin Problems?

  • If the foreskin does not separate from the glans and covers the urethral opening, it may bulge (“balloon”) during urination. This problem usually appears at a very young age.
  • If the foreskin is very long and the penis cannot be cleaned thoroughly, this can cause recurrent infection and inflammation.
  • If the foreskin is tight, it can get stuck at the root of the penis after retraction and cause severe pain.
  • If the foreskin is tight, it can also cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.

If you have the above condition(s), you may need to consider circumcision.

What is Circumcision?

Circumcision is a surgical operation to cut off part of the too-tight foreskin so that the glans of the penis can be exposed. The operation in an adult usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes and can be performed as a day surgery under local anaesthesia. No hospitalization is required. Most men recover in 3 weeks.

Minor complications such as swelling, bleeding, pain and infection may occur after the operation.

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